A school lunchbox with a ham and cheese sandwich and fruit

The ideal lunch snacks for kids tickle their taste buds and supply them with the right nutrients. But thinking about what to pack for school lunches can be a chore, especially when you have picky eaters. To make the task less daunting, we curated a list of fun and easy lunchbox recipes you can try. This article explores different back-to-school lunch ideas, from sandwiches to wraps. We guarantee these will be fun to make and even more enjoyable to eat!

Healthy Kid-Friendly Lunch Ideas

A lunchbox full of protein and fresh produce equals heaps of delicious goodness! Vibrantly colored ingredients and a combination of textures are the keys to a fun lunchbox after all. Our recipe list puts together different lunch meats, fiber sources, and cheeses, so you’ll know what to pack for a healthy lunch for kids. We’re sure your little scholar will enjoy these healthy kid-friendly lunch ideas!

1. Fruit Slices, Cheese, and Lunch Meat

Two lunch boxes with fruit slices, vegetables, and wraps

Looking for healthy lunch box ideas for kids? Many children have sensitive palates, so sometimes, going the simple and straightforward route is the best option. Packing fruit, cheese, and lunch meats is an easy way to ensure your child gets a well-balanced lunch.


  • 2 oz Buddig Black Forest Ham
  • 2 small pretzels
  • 2 cuts of goat cheese or fresh mozzarella 
  • Ripe grapes
  • 1 piece green apple or ripe mango


  • Wash the grapes, cut the apples into small cubes, and roll the lunch meat. 
  • Place your fruits and lunch meat in the compartment with the most space in your child’s lunchbox.
  • The next step is to cut your choice of cheese into bite-size pieces. It is best to skip the cheese if your kid has or may have dairy allergies. Err on the side of caution as dairy products are the most common food allergens. 
  • Stuff your cheese and pretzels into one compartment in your child’s lunch box. It’s vital to keep the fruits and lunch meat separate from the pretzels and cheese to maintain the texture of the different ingredients.
  • Finally, seal your bento box and pack it in your kid’s lunch bag!

2. Bacon and Chicken Ranch Wrap

Tortilla-wrapped chicken and sliced vegetables

The recipe is straightforward and quick to prepare, making it an ideal choice for busy mornings. With protein and healthy fats, this wrap will energize your kiddo throughout the school day.


  • 2 cups Buddig Grilled Chicken Breast Strips
  • ½ cup mozzarella or cheddar, shredded
  • 2-3 slices of cooked bacon, chopped
  • 4 wraps or burrito-size tortillas
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  • ½ cup ranch dressing
  • 1 small green onion, diced (optional)
  • Assorted fruits and vegetables, sliced (optional)


  • In a large bowl, place the chicken, cheese, bacon, and ranch dressing. Mix well to combine the flavors. Add green onion if this suits your child’s palette.
  • Position the flour tortillas on a large cutting board and top each with a portion of the chicken mixture and lettuce. Fold and tuck the sides in before rolling tightly. Cover with plastic wrap to keep the shape intact.
  • Cut each wrap in half for an easy lunch snack for your kid. 
  • You may insert slices of available fruits and veggies into the empty compartments.

3. Ham, Cheese, and Apple Sandwich

Ham and cheese on top of a slice of multigrain bread


A twist on the classic ham and cheese sandwich, this recipe adds a sweet and crunchy element with sliced apples.


  • 8 slices Buddig Original Honey Ham 
  • 8 slices of multigrain bread
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 big apple, grated
  • 4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • Put together mayonnaise, honey, and mustard in a bowl. 
  • Spread the mixture on four slices of bread.
  • Add a layer of cheddar cheese on top. 
  • Put two slices of ham and grated apple.
  • Assemble the sandwiches and cut each in half.
  • Garnish with leftover apple.


4. Grilled Turkey And Parmesan Sandwich

Grilled sandwiches filled with turkey slices, cheese, and greens


Grilled cheese sandwiches are a classic comfort food, but this twist on an old favorite takes it to the next level with added turkey and parmesan. Perfect for any meal of the day, these sandwiches are a delicious and easy way to fill up with protein and flavor.


  • 2 oz Buddig Oven Roasted Turkey
  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 8 slices of sandwich bread
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • Butter, unsalted


  • Put a skillet over medium flame. Butter one side of four bread slices, and put them in the skillet with the buttered side down.
  • Add a slice of cheese on the four bread slices in the pan. Top with a spoonful of marinara sauce.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese on top of the sauce. Add slices of turkey and another layer of cheese.
  • Cover with the remaining bread slices.
  • Butter the top bread slice and flip.
  • Toast each side of the bread for a minute or two.
  • Remove from heat and slice the sandwiches in half.


5. Hawaiian Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Two pieces of grilled cheese sandwich garnished with herbs


Take your kids’ grilled cheese sandwich to the next level with tropical flair. With melted cheese, slices of ham, and juicy pineapple rings, it's a delicious balance of savory and sweet that will become a family favorite in no time.


  • 2 oz Buddig Ham Lunch Meat
  • 8 thickly sliced pieces of bread 
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pineapple rings, fresh or canned
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Butter
  • Fresh vegetables, sliced (optional)


  • With a paper towel, blot the pineapple rings dry to prevent bread slices from soaking up the excess moisture.
  • Spread two teaspoons of mayonnaise on a piece of bread and top it with ham, a pineapple ring, and a cheese slice. Make sure that the pineapple is between the ham and cheese and not in contact with the bread.
  • Assemble the sandwich and butter on both sides.
  • Grill the sandwich over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the bread and cook until the cheese is melted.
  • Allow the sandwiches to cool down before slicing in halves and packing.
  • For extra flavor and nutrients, fill the empty lunchbox compartments with vegetable slices.
  • Express your love with a back-to-school lunchbox
  • Because there are different kinds of parents and many types of kids, there are also diverse options for preparing a child’s lunch. It’s not always easy to come up with back-to-school lunch ideas, but with fresh ingredients and a bit of creativity, you’ve totally got this! 


6. Kid-Friendly Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich

This classic deli sandwich usually has sauerkraut, but we switched things up a bit and used purple cabbage and Thousand Island dressing to make it more appealing to kids. Full of flavor and nutrients, it's a great option for picky eaters.


  • 8 oz Buddig Original Corned Beef
  • 4 slices light Swiss cheese
  • 8 slices multigrain sourdough
  • 4 oz purple cabbage with carrots, shredded
  • 2 tbsp fat-free Thousand Island dressing


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the dressing with the cabbage mix and set it aside.
  • Take one whole slice of bread and layer it with 2 thin slices or 1 thick slice of corned beef.
  • Place a slice of Swiss cheese on top of the corned beef.
  • Spoon 1-2 tablespoons of the cabbage mix onto the cheese.
  • Cover the sandwich with a second slice of bread.
  • If using a sandwich press, place the sandwich into the press and cook for approximately 10 minutes, until it is heated through and the cheese is melted. If using a frying pan, toast the sandwich in the pan until the cheese is melted. It may not brown unless you add oil to the pan.
  • Once cooked, remove the sandwich from the press or frying pan.
  • Slice the sandwich into quarters and serve.


7. Healthy Mac and Cheese

Healthy Mac and Cheese

Nothing says comfort food like mac and cheese, but this version is healthier without sacrificing any of the cheesy goodness. With added veggies and whole-grain pasta, it's a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients for your little one.


  • 2 slices Buddig Premium Deli Smoked Ham, roughly torn
  • 14 oz cauliflower approx. half a small cauliflower
  • 9 oz zucchini
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked whole-grain pasta
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 tbsp butter (or your preferred oil)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced


  • Cook the pasta according to the packet directions, then drain and set it aside.
  • Roughly chop the cauliflower and peel the zucchini. Steam them together until they are tender.
  • While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the roux sauce (white sauce).
  • Heat butter or oil in a saucepan.
  • Add the onion and smoked ham to the saucepan, sautéing until the onion becomes softened and translucent.
  • Stir in the flour and cook for approximately 2 minutes while continuously stirring.
  • Gradually add the milk to the saucepan. Preheating the milk before adding it will result in a smoother sauce that thickens more quickly.
  • Bring the sauce to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat. The sauce should be thick but smooth.
  • Stir in ¾ cup of grated cheese, allowing it to melt into the sauce. Remove from heat.
  • Once the cauliflower and zucchini are tender, drain them and puree them using a stick blender or food processor. You should have around 2 cups of vegetable puree.
  • Combine the vegetable puree with the cheese sauce.
  • Mix the sauce with the cooked pasta until well-coated.
  • Pour the pasta and sauce mixture into a greased oven-proof dish. Optionally, sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top.
  • Bake at 356°F for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is melted, bubbling, and golden. Serve and enjoy!


8. Sunnyside Ham Pastries

Sunnyside Ham Pastries

These delicious ham and egg pastries are protein-packed treats that will keep your child full and satisfied until their next meal. Perfect for a quick meal or an on-the-go snack, they're sure to be a hit with kids of all ages.


  • 2 slices Buddig Original Ham
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 4 eggs (+ 1 egg for an egg wash, slightly beaten with 1 tbsp of water)
  • ½ cup Mexican cheese blend (finely shredded)
  • ¼ cup diced red pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp sliced scallions
  • salt and pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  • On a floured surface, roll out the puff pastry into a 12-inch square. Cut it into 4 equal 6-inch squares and place them on the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Lightly score about ½ inch around the edges of each square.
  • Bake the squares for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven. Press down the centers of each square to create a well.
  • Place ¼ of the ham, scallions, and red peppers onto each square, then sprinkle ¼ of the grated cheese over the top.
  • Carefully break an egg into the center of each square and season with salt and pepper.
  • Brush the edges of the squares with the egg wash.
  • Return the squares to the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on your preferred doneness of the eggs (20 minutes for a slightly running center).
  • Once cooked to your liking, remove from the oven and serve.


9. Ham, Chives, and Cheese Omelet

Ham, Chives, and Cheese Omelet

Omelets are a breakfast staple, but you can enjoy them at any time of the day, especially when filled with delicious and nutritious ingredients. Loaded with ham and cheese, this recipe is simple but satisfying.


  • 2 slices Buddig Premium Deli Smoked Ham, roughly torn
  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g cheddar, grated
  • small handful of chives, finely chopped
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • knob of butter


  • Crack the eggs into a bowl. Add half of the cheese and the chopped chives. Lightly stir with a fork to combine, then season with sea salt and black pepper.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter starts foaming, pour the egg mixture into the pan.
  • Allow the omelet to heat for about 20 seconds until it starts to set. Then, tilt the pan towards you.
  • Use a spatula or wooden spoon to lift up the set part of the omelet, allowing the runny egg to flow to the bottom and set. Repeat this step a couple of times, tilting the pan in different directions, until the edges are set but the center remains gooey.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese into the center of the omelet and add the torn ham pieces.
  • Fold one half of the omelet over the other using your spatula or wooden spoon.
  • Cook for another 20 seconds to melt the cheese and warm the ham, then serve immediately.


Tips for Kid Healthy Lunch Ideas

When coming up with healthy kid lunch ideas for school, make sure to combine fruits and vegetables with meats to provide an interesting mix of colors, textures, and flavors in your kid’s lunch. As long as you have Buddig meats and fresh produce in the kitchen, you’ll be able to make your kid a satisfying packed lunch every day!

This is the core reason behind Buddig’s commitment to making our Gluten Free, MSG-free lunch meats with no artificial flavors accessible to more families and children. Feel free to browse our site for more recipes and use our store locator to find the right lunch meat for your next awesome back-to-school lunch idea!

Find Buddig Products and Be Ready for Lunchtime Anytime

Buddig offers a variety of affordable and packed-to-go lunchmeat, sliced just right for any meal. Find a store near you that carries all our delicious flavors. With no gluten or MSG, you can enjoy lunchmeat that tastes good, and really IS good.

Thank you for visiting our website! By using this website, you consent to the collection and use of cookies. For more information, click here.